Review Rating: 8
The UK has been completely overrun by persons infected with a virus called Rage, that turns normal people into zombies with a taste for flesh and blood, and the outbreak in London causes the evacuation of Britain that leads to our Protag waking up, as the title says….
Jim finds himself completely alone in the hospital, having apparently woken 28 days after the virus broke out, and wanders out into the streets to find London the proverbial ghost town. Jim meets up with other stragglers turned warriors and, armed with new insights into what the hell happened, attempts to find sanctuary outside the city and away from the crazed zombies.
It’s not an entirely unique premise, but the story really makes this film. The actors really help too – Cillian Murphy is awkward and kind Jim, Naomie Harris is hardened warrior Selena, Brendan Gleeson is determined father Frank, we even have Christopher Eccelston as Major West. A sense of hopelessness in the very atmosphere permeates the entire movie, no special effects or CGI is needed for any of that, and I for one am glad of it. Jim and his pals try to run, try to fight, and keep getting screwed at every turn. And 28 Days Later was the first zombie flick I ever saw to inject terrible realism into the story – what would have happened to the female members of the party when they finally reached purported sanctuary with the military. Major West demands his men be “entertained”, and well frankly, I can see that happening far too easily and nowhere near as…civilized as Major West tried to initially be about it. The soundtrack and score for the film really add to the atmosphere too. The movie ends on an uncomfortably unfinished note, which I think was exactly what they intended, and left things open for the sequel, 28 Weeks Later, which was also awesome.